Doom Over London 2016

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words: Elena Mara Reed, photo: Doom Over London, 2016-09-23

Doom Over London was an emblematic experience of London metal fests. All-black-clothed humanoids, bearded guys and redhead grrrls, laughing and drinking way too many beers blurred into one massive anarchist flag. The smell of weed made us all hungry for delicious pizzas of Aces and Eights and more importantly riffs. On Saturday, the tiny triangle stage of A&E offered Alunah for dinner. I am always happy to see women on stage, but this time Alunah made my heart melt. The band shared the spirit of togetherness (and some spirits too!) with the audience. Slow hypnotic melodies waved like metal lullabies. Afterwards, the same tiny stage generously offered Wizard Fight, the intriguing trio from Hastings that could make soundtracks for James Bond movies. Melodic, psychedelic and moving, Wizard Fight threw their burning energy at us preparing our psyche for OHHMS, who simply had no mercy. These psych stoners created an atmosphere of a mental institution I wouldn’t mind to end up in. Riffs bringing to uncontrollable highs and lows – mental! 

The Boston Arms had Bossk for dessert. Blue light and smoke machines added to the madness the Kentians dragged us in. With hardcore movements and guitars in the air, this exceptionally good post-metal band deserves the verdict of “the best boyband of the day”. Noir and pretty damn serious Bossk were the opposites of the headliners Moonspell. Moonspell put a smile on my generally curmudgeon face. I wish the Portuguese could play at my 60th birthday. With all the light effects and artificial snow falling even my grandchildren would like their Shakira-kind-of-metal.

Sunday started for me with Darkher, whose Chelsea Wolfian vocals combined with dreamy guitars conquered the main stage of The Dome. The remaining hangover was cured with the French ambient artist Treha Sektori who transformed A&E stage into purgatory. Like ghosts trapped in an abandoned church, we couldn’t escape the adventure Vincent meticulously crafted with a guitar, electronic drums, synthesizer and a Mac, of course. Treha SeKtori sounded livelier and deeper that in the recordings, which are already ethereal enough. Washing the pain and sins away, this one man orchestra made me question my life choices and drinking habits. His powerful out-of-this-world soundscapes could be used in hypnosis sessions to convince people of setting things on fire. 10/10.

The metalympic torch of darkness was soon taken over by Syndrome. Mathieu (the guitarist from Amenra) proved that a solo project can be as heavy as the very famous Belgian band. Significantly more personal and emotional, Syndrome took us on a captivating journey. Loop after loop, wave after wave, up and down I was forced to face my own insecurities and reimagine the concept of heaviness.

All in all, over 40 bands over three days and three stages, must have left everyone more than contented. I can genuinely call Doom Over London a blast! alreay waiting for 2017!